Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Hank's owners 'overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated' in week after his release

Published 11/08/2016

Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home.
(Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Hank the dog visited the Belfast Telegraph offices on Friday to say thanks to helping in the successful campaign to bring him home. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The owners of Hank the dog have described their "pain, frustration and hurt" in the week since he was released.

Hank was released earlier this month almost three weeks after he was seized by Belfast City Council because he appeared to be a banned breed.

The case gained international attention and a Facebook page called Save Hank was liked over 80,000 times.

Since his release, Hank and his owners Joanne Meadows and Leonard Collins have remained in the public eye and have launched a campaign to change the Dangerous Dogs law that led to Hank being seized.

But on Thursday, they said they had been overwhelmed by all that has happened over the last month.

Leonard said: "In many ways the last week has been the most difficult for us. We are, of course, overjoyed to have Hank back but during the weeks he was away we were so busy fighting to have him returned. Now that the dust has settled a bit it feels as if all the pain, frustration and hurt has overwhelmed us both.

"Exhaustion has set in for Hank, Joanne and I and the added stress of the rally and it's subsequent cancellation has left us all feeling drained. We have not been as active the last few days as we all just needed some rest."

They said that although they want Hank to meet all those who supported him, he is struggling to adjust to the new rules that were a condition of his release.

Hank must now wear a muzzle when out in public and has to have behavioural classes.

The post added: "Hank is beginning to adjust to his muzzle but so far has not reacted well to other dogs. This is something that was never an issue before and we believe that this is due to his muzzle.

Jillian Bearns, Larne with Dixie & Dexter say welcome home to Hank
Jillian Bearns, Larne with Dixie & Dexter say welcome home to Hank
Sofia welcomes Hank from Chile. Sender: Paola Chavez Pacheco
From Marley & Lyka in the hills of Donegal
Happy for Hank from Lesley Beak in Canada.
Welcome home Hank from Dora, Alfie and Molly. Pic: Marcella Mervyn
Mia McKinty and her friends from Bangor send a warm word of welcome home to Hank and his family
Welcome home Hank from Suki and Simba. Pic: Nic Cullen Belfast.
A big welcome home from Mr Darcy & his friend Mao the cat in Dublin.
Welcome home Hank from Troy who sleeps most of the day but is still very happy that Hank has been released. From Janet and Noah
"Welcome home Hank! So glad the right thing was done! Bruce, my 14-week-old boxer is glad too" from Kerry Campbell Omagh, Co Tyrone
Luca Burns from Cork says welcome home Hank
Jack and Poppy and their owner Jane Bailie from Bangor wish Hank all the best for the future
Ollie and his owner Pat Canning from Belfast tell Hank that he's welcome to their home anytime
Riley and his owner Helen Bindley from Larne wish Hank every happiness in the future
Paddy and Reilly, Irish Water spaniels, from Co Down, hope that Hank will be home soon
Jess and Jodi Moore-Skelly welcome Hank back home
Inca the poodle of the McClatchey family welcomes Hank back home
Monte, Derry and Tripoli from Seattle and cared for by Dave Geisert are are anxiously looking for Hank to get back home
Renata Paluch from Hull are delighted that Hank is getting to go home
Macey and Bella Johnston send Hank their love
It's a woof woof from Bobby Beattie
Here's Toby the Springer Spaniel from Ballymena
Pretty Tilly McKevitt from Portadown is delighted that Hank is going back to his family
Tillie and Henry Wellstead say welcome home to Hank and back to the cuddles that you deserve
'Welcome home Hank from a fellow Bully'
Pluto Beveridge really is happy that Hank is getting home
Lucy (jack russell) and Reggie (rottweiler) send Hank their love from Luton
Poodle Freya and her ownerJenella are delighted Hank is coming home
Tazz is delighted Hank is getting home
Husky pack Duke, Sky, Max, Arya, DJ and Roman welcome Hank home
Frank and his family in Belfast are delighted that Hank will be released
Even cats are delighted that Hank the dog is coming home
Pippa and her humans Michelle, Mark, Matthew and Chloe from Magheralin Co.Armagh are so happy Hank's life has been saved.
Welcome home Hank!! ????from Karen and Alfie Castlederg xo
Rescue dogs Rudy and Lexie from Armagh want to welcome Hank home. Owner Paula said: "they both came from council pounds so they know how it feels to be locked up".
Welcome home Hank lots of love Rebel and Bubba from Lisburn
Welcome home Hank from Karen Connor & Amy the pom from Bangor, Co Down
Welcome home Hank. Paws and licks from Cotto, Ballymena.
Tax Button and Poppy say #hanksaved
Welcome home Hank
Welcome home Hank
Hughie from Belfast says welcome home Hank - you deserve a huge pat on the back and lots of doggy treats after all you've been through #braveboy
Welcome home Hank from Dexter!
Lynn Paul, from Ballysillan in Belfast with Max.
From Pauline Sleator
My dog Fern and I would love to wish Hank a happy homecoming! We are in New York City, where many happy pit bulls live without being banned. Fern is a certified therapy dog that volunteers with senior citizens:Jillian Hayes.
Welcome home Hank from Sophie the Staffie and Peter Knight, Ballyholme, Bangor.
Gina Love and her pet Goober from the Shetland Islands welcomed Hank home.
Here's looking at you kid! Welcome home Hank from Jeannie and Sherrie. Sent in by Rosemary Craig.
Kelly Anne Webster says: "We havnt stopped thinking about Hank an Pixie wants to say 'Welcome Home'" You will never go through this again."
Owners Leanne and Stevie with Rafa 7 and Harley 6 from Bangor
Mel McConnell from Newtownards: "This is Suki my 9 yr old jr terrier welcoming Hank home"
From Allison McKenna, Belfast
Quinton - from Anya Connor in Belfast.
Welcome home Hank from Coops.
Welcome home Hank from Reggie the Jack Russell and his friend Pebbles the tabby cat in Coleraine.
Welcome home Hank from Max. Pic: Nicola Totten
Diesel, Logan and Kaiser say welcome home Hank.
Welcome home Hank from Meg. Pic: Ann Marie Smith.
Welcome home Hank from Niko, Nhala and Storm. Pic: Karen Dando
Welcome Home Hank from Poppy in Newtownabbey. Pic: Lyndsey Minford
Welcome home Hank from Phoebe and Ruby. Pic: Erin McAllister
Welcome home Hank from Pippin.
Maddie in Ards says Welcome home Hank. Pic: Amy Black
Welcome home Hank from Tiny in Dungannon.
Hugo and Sully from north Belfast say Welcome home Hank. Pic: Leah Davis
Walt from Belfast says Welcome Home Hank. Pic: Russell Adams
Walt from Belfast says Welcome Home Hank. Pic: Russell Adams
Welcome Home Hank. Pic: Anna Salmon
Pixie and Benjie, from owner Laura mcmahon in Belfast
Troy and Baby Girl, from east Belfast from owner Sharon Brown.
Roxi from Bangor from owner William Bradford.
Claude from Belfast, owner Anya Connor.
Boxer Cara and Jackhuahua Pepsi welcome Hank home from Paula Beattie and family, Carryduff.
Welcome home Hank!! Such fabulous news! Lots of love from Manni and family from Liz Clark.
Cooper from Newtownards.

"We want Hank to meet you all but it may be a while before he is ready; he needs time to adjust to being home and the muzzle and then his training starts with the wonderful Susan Finlay from Owenbeg Dog Behaviourists."

As part of the campaign, they raised almost £19,000 to help pay for legal costs and said that now that he has been released, they said they will donate the money to "worthy causes".

They had also originally organised a protest at Stormont against Northern Ireland's controversial dog laws but they have had to postpone the event twice.

They had originally organised a protest at Stormont at 1pm for Sunday August 7 but they then postponed this to Sunday August 14 at 1pm "due to time constraints and the availability of invited guests".

However it has now been postponed with a date to be announced.

Online Editors

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph